The flowers on the Meadow Trail are fading a bit, ferns on the Mt. Lemmon Trail are starting to brown and small drainages crossing the Wilderness of Rocks Trail are beginning to go dry – the summer rains are gone, but summer temperatures are still very much here – a nice time to be at the top of the mountain.
I recently volunteered to help a with a AZGF Bighorn Sheep research project and have a number of points in the Romero Pass area to visit – today was my first time out, I was slow collecting the vegetation survey information but did manage to get a few points done – and it was a great reason to visit this area! Wilderness of Rocks and then Mount Lemmon Trail towards Romero Pass – 15.9 miles, +/- 3800′.
It was raining when I parked at the Mint Spring Trailhead – not hard, but enough to make me reorganize some of my gear into Aloksaks to keep everything dry – just enough effort to keep the rain away for the rest of the evening! Highlights:
Mint Spring Trail – The first part of the trail was wonderfully overgrown – in spots the trail was almost a tunnel thru all of the summer growth – the fern covered hillsides with flowers peaking thru were memorable.
Wilderness of Rock Trail – Water! Not the highest/fastest I have seen the water here – but enough that to make it exciting to see – small waterfalls, spills and pools!
Aspen Trail – On the last climb to the ridge, burned years ago and now quite open, the flowers were blooming and beautiful and I had great views of the moon.
Aspen Draw Trail – Sections of soft trail thru the big trees, it wasn’t long after starting the trail that I had to get out my headlamp to navigate the dark tree covered trail.
I finished with a run thru Summerhaven, by the time I arrived nothing was open (not unexpected on a Sunday night – but I was still hoping…), and the streets were nearly empty… 11.75 miles, 2600′ of elevation gain/loss.
Summerhaven – Turkey Run – Aspen Draw – Radio Ridge – I wonder if the Forest Service or Arizona Historical Society have the brochure that matches the old markers along the trail – it would be fun to hike the trail and read the descriptions…
The Lemmon Rock Lookout slowly gets closer, the wind makes the day feel cool, I hear Peregrine Falcons and my own heartbeat when I take a short break.
Radio Ridge – Aspen Draw – Turkey Run and back into Summerhaven…